Brought to you by Sunday Scribblings
When I was a kid the whole wide world was contained in the confines of our small town. It held everything we could ever wish for. It was the 1960's and the world was still slightly innocent and wholly uncorrupted. Life was bicycle rides, snow days, idyllic days at the local swimming pool, Halloween without razor blades but nickles given out by the ex-Governor of the state along with home made popcorn balls, walking downtown to purchase a cherry coke, the corner grocery store with penny candy jars,gigantic leaf piles we could burn in town and kick ball games in the lone empty lot in the neighborhood.
It was okay to jump on your bike and truck several miles across town. My brother tells of an ongoing BB gun game where he and several of his buddies would dress in layers and layers of padding and chase each other around town for target practice. Life was good. We felt safe and unthreatened. Except maybe by the Russians dropping the bomb on us, even then we were well educated at school on how to survive a nuclear attack (squatting under your school desk...what if you are st home? Bomb shelters.)
There were several places you had to beware of. Like the park downtown. That is where the "bums" hung out. Bums were bad and to be avoided at all costs. Naturally we always flocked to the park when ever we could on the look out for the these deviant bums. I never saw one. I never met another kid who did either. I have to think that maybe once upon a time some kid got flashed or something similar.
But, the worst of the worst, never to go, always FORBIDDEN and off limits, and you got your butt spanked but good if you got caught at this mother of all evil places in my home town........
THE TUNNEL! (as viewed from the church!!!!)
The tunnel was an abandoned train track that went under main street. The tracks were removed and the jungle had taken over.
The temptation was so powerful that resistance was impossible. The tunnel was next to the small Catholic school I attended. An entrance to the top of the tunnel was directly accessible across the street, next to the church, on the corner where we waited for the afternoon buses to take us home.
How many times and how many hundreds of kids climbed on top of the forbidden curved dome of the top, lay down and dangle their heads over and look into the black dank smelly cavern of doom and destruction. The darkness promised adventure and hidden treasure. No kids ever fell over that I ever heard of, and I would have heard.
To access the tunnel you had to enter the abandoned track by the old depot located a block from Main Street. The homes on Broadway backed up to the overgrown train track. Many eyes followed you if you attempted to approach the opening from that angle. The only way to make an unobserved approach was to slide down the back (because the bank to the track bed became steeper as you drew closer) was at Flea's house. (His parents worked).
There were bugs, albino crayfish, spiders and poison ivy, and a drainage hole that dripped and spewed chilly clear water at all times.
If it were not forbidden, it would have been ignored. But the forbidden part....Oh how sweet.